If you receive SSI disability payments each month, your income cannot exceed the guidelines established by the Social Security Administration. The SSA uses countable income, or the amount of money left over after making certain exclusions, to determine if a person qualifies for this program. In 2015, an individual can make up to $1,551 per month in earned income and still qualify for SSI disability benefits. If you need to make extra money to supplement your SSI payments, here are six jobs you can do without exceeding the income limit and putting your benefits at risk.
1. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is suitable for people with a wide range of disabilities because it doesn't require a lot of physical activity. If you have trouble sitting at a desk for long periods of time, you can sit in a comfortable armchair with your laptop or tablet. There are also a number of mobile apps and software programs available to reduce the amount of stress typing puts on your joints and muscles. If you want to break into freelance writing, you must have strong writing skills and the ability to learn the submission guidelines for a variety of print and online publications.
2. Graphic Design
People with physical disabilities tend to succeed in creative fields because they spend a lot of time thinking about ways to improve the spaces around them. If you know how to use design software and image-editing programs, you can use your perspective to design brochures, logos, websites, and other marketing materials for small businesses or large corporations.
3. Home-Based Customer Service
If you don't want to start your own business, look for a part-time job with one of the many companies hiring workers to provide home-based customer support. Several organizations hire people to accept incoming telephone calls and provide support to the customers of major brands.
Some companies provide all the equipment you need, while other companies require you to use your own computer and telephone line. If you receive SSI disability due to problems with your hearing, you may be able to purchase an amplified telephone to make it easier to do phone-based work.
4. Musical Performance
If you sing or play an instrument, performing at weddings and other special events can help you supplement your income without having to work more than a few hours per week. When you first start out, have business cards printed so you can give them to wedding planners, caterers, and other people who might be able to give you referrals. Make sure you take time to figure out how much you must charge to make the work worth your while without exceeding the monthly income limit for SSI disability.
5. Disability Peer Support
Working as a peer support counselor is not only a good way to earn money, it's also an opportunity to share what you have learned with people who need help learning how to manage their disabilities. As a peer support counselor, you may be asked to help someone with a disability look for a job or apply for benefits. The people you work with can benefit from your experience living and working with a disability, making this one of the most rewarding jobs available.
6. Computer Consulting
Use your technical skills to repair computers or provide phone-based technical support to people in your neighborhood. With remote support software, you can log in to your clients' computers and make changes from the comfort of your own home, making this job ideal if you can't drive due to your disability. You don't have to provide high-level tech support to make money; people will pay you for simple tasks such as setting up video-conferencing software or running a virus scan.
Working part-time is a great way to supplement your income and maintain some of your independence, but you must be careful not to earn too much money while receiving SSI disability benefits. If you need help determining the maximum amount you can earn without exceeding the countable income limit, talk to a Social Security disability lawyer in your area. An experienced attorney can help you determine the best way to supplement your income without losing your benefits.
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